New York Giants: Full 2016 Draft Guide and Preview

Kevin Boilard@@KevinBoilardCorrespondent IApril 27, 2016

New York Giants: Full 2016 Draft Guide and Preview

0 of 5

    What do the Giants think of Georgia LB Leonard Floyd?
    What do the Giants think of Georgia LB Leonard Floyd?Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The New York Giants are about to add a new cast of rookies to their roster. In order to predict what the team will do in the 2016 NFL draft, we must think like general manager Jerry Reese.

    That means we must analyze the Giants' picks and scrutinize past trends. We have to look at the team's biggest needs and figure out which prospects fill those holes best. And don't forget the never-ending draft rumors.

    Once we've dug that deep, we can then put together a logical mock draft.

    It's impossible to predict exactly what the Giants—or any other team—will do on draft day. However, this draft guide will provide the most comprehensive preview of what they're likely to do.

    Don't be scrambling for information once the picks start rolling in on Thursday. Read on and prepare yourself for the 2016 NFL draft from Reese's perspective.

Draft Picks

1 of 5

    New York Giants GM Jerry Reese.
    New York Giants GM Jerry Reese.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Draft Picks

    Round 1, Pick No. 10 overall

    Round 2, Pick No. 40 overall

    Round 3, Pick No. 71 overall

    Round 4, Pick No. 109 overall

    Round 5, Pick No. 149 overall

    Round 6, Pick No. 184 overall

    What to Know

    1. In each of the past three drafts, Jerry Reese has selected an offensive lineman in either the first or second round. He used the 19th-overall pick on Justin Pugh in 2013, the 43rd-overall pick on Weston Richburg in 2014 and the ninth-overall pick on Ereck Flowers in 2015.

    2. Zero players remain from the Giants’ 2012 draft class. In fact, long-snapper Zak DeOssie (fourth round, 2007) and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (first round, 2010) are the only players from Reese’s first six draft classes that are still on the team.

    3. The Giants haven’t selected a linebacker in the first round since the 1984 NFL draft, when they spent the third-overall pick on Carl Banks out of Michigan State. Reese has not spent a draft pick (any round) on a linebacker since 2011, when he scooped up both Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams in the sixth round.

Top Needs

2 of 5

    The Giants must finish rebuilding their offensive line.
    The Giants must finish rebuilding their offensive line.Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    1. Offensive Tackle

    The Giants have been methodically building their offensive line with high draft picks over the past few years. Weston Richburg now anchors the line at center. The left side of the line is set, with Ereck Flowers at tackle and Justin Pugh at guard; Bobby Hart, a seventh-round pick in last year’s draft, is poised to replace veteran John Jerry as the starting right guard.

    That leaves the right tackle position as the only remaining question mark. Marshall Newhouse started 14 games there last season, but he wasn’t signed to be a starter. Byron Stingily, who was picked up in free agency this year, probably isn’t the long-term answer either.

    2. Wide Receiver

    Thanks to the rise of Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants have one of the best receivers in the game on their roster. However, after losing Rueben Randle in free agency, the depth behind Beckham is questionable.

    The slot position shouldn’t be a problem. Even if Victor Cruz fails to complete his comeback, the Giants can always fall back on Dwayne Harris. What they need is a No. 2 receiver who can work the sideline opposite Beckham and keep the chains moving against man-to-man coverage.

    3. Linebacker

    The only above-average linebacker New York has is Devon Kennard, and he has missed a total of 11 games due to injuries in his first two professional seasons. While Kennard excels on the strong side, the combination of J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas on the weak side can only be described as serviceable.

    The real problem is at middle linebacker. Right now the Giants have Jasper Brinkley, Uani ‘Unga, Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard ready to take part in an unspectacular competition for the starting job. They need someone who can step in and take control of this position group.

    4. Cornerback

    In free agency, the Giants picked up Janoris Jenkins and let Prince Amukamara walk. Jenkins is now paired up with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, forming a starting cornerback tandem that should quickly become one of the NFL’s best.

    Behind them, however, the Giants lack quality depth. Trevin Wade can probably handle a role in the slot, but the team would be in serious trouble if either Jenkins or Rodgers-Cromartie needed to be replaced. They don’t have anyone on the roster who is even remotely close to their caliber.

    5. Defensive End

    Like the cornerback position, the Giants have two solid starters at defensive end in Jason Pierre-Paul and free-agency acquisition Olivier Vernon. These two should have no problem getting to the quarterback in 2016.

    For New York’s defensive front to reclaim its past glory, though, the Giants need one more pass-rusher to complete the rotation. They cannot count on Owa Odighizuwa or Kerry Wynn to be that player, so expect them to be on the prowl for another defensive end in this year’s draft.

Top Targets

3 of 5

    Jack Conklin should be one of New York's top targets.
    Jack Conklin should be one of New York's top targets.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Offensive Tackle

    1. Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame: After turning down last year’s draft and staying an extra year in college, Stanley has only solidified himself as one of the cleanest prospects in the country. He is a well-practiced tackle, quick and nimble at 6’6” and 312 pounds. The Giants will know exactly what they are getting if they select Stanley with the 10th-overall pick.

    2. Jack Conklin, Michigan State: Conklin doesn’t have the same pedigree as Stanley, but his grit and determination define him as an equally alluring prospect. He does not possess the athleticism to cut it as a left tackle in the NFL, yet his willingness to scrap will make him a decent Day 1 starter at right tackle. Conklin’s biggest impact for the Giants may be in the running game, where the 6’6”, 308-pound tackle can embrace his inner bulldozer.

    Wide Receiver

    1. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss: The Giants may have an opportunity to select the best pass-catcher in this year’s draft class and pair him with Odell Beckham Jr. Treadwell’s lack of top-flight speed could keep him out of the top 10 picks, but it’s tough to argue with his production. The 6’2”, 221-pound receiver bodied up for 202 catches, 2,393 yards and 21 touchdowns in three seasons at Ole Miss.

    2. Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina: This year’s draft class is deep at the wide receiver position, and Cooper is one who could get lost in the mix. He is a 5’11, 203-pound athlete who did a little bit of everything for the Gamecocks. In addition to his 18 touchdown receptions in three seasons at South Carolina, he rushed for four scores and threw for four more.

    Linebacker

    1. Darron Lee, Ohio State: Although he won’t do much to resolve the Giants’ problem at middle linebacker, Lee would bring game-changing speed to the weak-side linebacker position. With a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, he was the fastest linebacker at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. At 6’1” and 232 pounds, he was also a top performer in the vertical jump (35.5 inches), broad jump (133.0 inches) and 20-yard shuttle (4.20 seconds).

    2. Tyler Matakevich, Temple: If the Giants prefer production and accolades to workout measurements, Matakevich will be their guy at linebacker. He is a below-average athlete by NFL standards, but the 6’0, 238-pound bruiser is a pure football player. He recorded more than 100 tackles in each of his four seasons at Temple, which culminated with a Chuck Bednarik Award and a Bronko Nagurski Trophy as a senior in 2015.

    Cornerback

    1. Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida: If the Giants are looking for a third cornerback who is cut from the same cloth as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins, then Hargreaves is the player they’ll target with the 10th-overall pick. He has displayed desirable explosiveness and instincts as a route-jumper, picking off 10 passes and defending a total of 38 in three seasons at Florida. A willing tackler at 5’10” and 204 pounds, he’s a good fit to start in the slot.

    2. Artie Burns, Miami: When it comes to pure athleticism, there are few in this draft class who can hold a candle to Burns. He was an All-American hurdler on the track and field team at Miami. Although the 6’0”, 193-pound cornerback still has a lot of work to do on the football field, his intangibles and six interceptions in 2015 inspire hope that he can be a legitimate game-changer at the next level.

    Defensive End

    1. Leonard Floyd, Georgia: Because he is 6’6” and only 244 pounds, Floyd is typically pinned as a 3-4 outside linebacker. The Giants could use him in some sort of hybrid role, since he’s a great edge-rusher and rangy enough to excel in space. If he can add a considerable amount of weight to his frame, then this Georgia product could be New York’s next great defensive end within a few years.

    2. Kevin Dodd, Clemson: Hiding in the shadow of his highly touted college teammate, Dodd is underrated and ready to become a star. Shaq Lawson is the Clemson defensive end who has garnered more attention this draft season, but Dodd is two inches taller and nearly 10 pounds heavier. Both players were credited with 12.5 sacks in 2015.

Latest Rumors

4 of 5

    The Giants aren't concerned about Myles Jack's knee, per a report.
    The Giants aren't concerned about Myles Jack's knee, per a report.Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

    1. The Giants may be playing favorites. The top two players they’re considering with the 10th-overall pick are Leonard Floyd and Jack Conklin, according to FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager.

    Floyd and Conklin both make sense for the Giants. Floyd is a versatile athlete who could make an impact at multiple levels of the defense, and Conklin is a tough blocker who would help complete the rebuilding of New York’s offensive line.

    2. The Giants believe Myles Jack’s knee is “OK,” according to MMQB’s Peter King. The veteran NFL reporter has New York selecting the UCLA linebacker with the 10th pick in his mock draft.

    Although he is widely regarded as one of the top prospects in this year’s draft class, Jack would be a surprise pick for the Giants. They haven’t spent a first-round pick on a linebacker in over 30 years. Why would they break that trend for a guy who is recovering from a serious knee injury, especially given the injury problems that have plagued the team as of late?

    3. Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan told a TMZ reporter that he wants his former team to draft Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott in the first round.

    Elliott would be an exciting pick for Giants fans but probably not the smartest pick. While it would be impressive to watch a true bell cow come in and take over the team’s current committee of running backs, New York has bigger problems to worry about than bringing in a player who can tote the majority of the offensive touches.

7-Round Mock Draft

5 of 5

    The Giants may go with Leonard Floyd in the first round.
    The Giants may go with Leonard Floyd in the first round.Brett Davis/Associated Press

    Round 1: Leonard Floyd, LB/DE, Georgia: Jerry Reese has fallen in love with Floyd’s athleticism and versatility. Even though he is an imperfect fit in New York’s scheme, the Giants are convinced he can make a real difference in their defense.

    Round 2: Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M: The Giants pass on a few of the top tackles in the first round, and Ifedi falls right in their lap in the second. They still wind up with a player who can start right away at right tackle.

    Round 3: Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina: Needing another playmaker on offense to complement Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants land Cooper in the third. He’s penciled in as a starter with Victor Cruz.

    Round 4: Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia: Knowing they need depth but not a Day 1 starter at cornerback, the Giants wait until the fourth round to pick up Canady. He’s a tall corner who could work his way into the lineup in time.

    Round 5: Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple: In typical fashion, the Giants wait until the fifth round to pick up a linebacker and wind up with Matakevich. Despite his physical limitations, he’s very much in the running for New York’s wide-open middle linebacker job.

    Round 6: Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia: He’s not Ezekiel Elliott, but Smallwood could stand out in a crowded backfield. He’s a well-rounded running back who will earn his keep with his pass catching and pass protection skills.

    Round 7: No pick.

    *All combine measurements courtesy of NFL.com.

    Follow Kevin Boilard on Twitter.